On Thursday February 16th 2012, CTMS  will present an Adventures in Theory Lecture by Manuela Campenelli from the Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Mathematical Sciences and the founding Director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation

When:  Thursday February 16th 2012

Where:  French Family Science 2237

Time:  4:00p

Title:  Merging Black-Holes in General Relativity

Abstract: The field of numerical relativity experienced a phenomenal growth spurt during the past six years. The field transformed from one in which the two-body problem, that is the merger of black-hole binaries, was impossible to solve to one where simulations of merging black-holes are now routine. Among the most remarkable discoveries is the one that merging pair of spinning black holes can recoil thousands of km/s, generating very strong emission of gravitational waves in the last few orbits of the collision. The detection these gravitational waves will constitute a major breakthrough in fundamental physics, opening a new window on the universe. For supermassive black-holes in active galaxies, these merger events are also expected to be accompanied by observable electromagnetic signals. In this talk, I will review the latest achievements and highlight the field’s next challenges with emphasis on applications to both gravitational wave and electromagnetic astronomy and astrophysics. I will also present the first magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) calculation of a circumbinary accretion disk around inspiralling supermassive black-holes.

Click here for the beautifully illustrated paper on the talk.